Details: (MA15+), 124 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is the divorced owner of a small bookstore in London\'s Notting Hill, sharing a nearby house with his slobby Welsh flatmate, Spike (Rhys Ifans). One day, world famous actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), visits Notting Hill and wonders into his bookshop - and his life.
A real date movie.
The film succeeds because of Hugh Grant's charmingly funny portrayal of the unlikely hero.
There's an initial irony in Notting Hill that fortunately the film manages to overcome - Julia Roberts plays a Hollywood superstar – and Hugh Grant plays a self-deprecating Brit. It's where real life and the movies converge... these two, playing Anna and William, connect when she visits his travel bookshop in Notting Hill. He recognises her but doesn't gush, she kisses him and runs. She's attracted and engineers another meeting, he asks her to dinner for his sisters birthday. She's charmed and relaxed, his friends can't believe Flopsy – their pet name for William – has managed to date the biggest star in the world.
It's really a story of boy meets girl, loses girl, meets girl again, loses her etc. etc. It won't win many prizes for originality and it wouldn't have worked most probably if anyone less than Julia Roberts had starred in it. But it has a charm and it also has a truth about it. Written by Richard Curtis of Mr Bean and Four Weddings fame, it has its own trajectory and for the most part it's totally enjoyable. Hugh Grant could start to grate with his stammery stuttery delivery, but he's such a nice guy you give up worrying about that. Julia Roberts is terrific, she overcomes her own stardom to make us believe in the character of Anna. The supporting characters are either over the top – I could never believe William would share a house with unwashed Welshman Spike – Rhys Ifans – or accept that Honey Emma Chambers is his sister. However, his best friends Max – Tim McInnerny and Bella – Gina McKee are wonderfully real. Nicely directed by Roger Michell who brought us Persuasion, this is a real date movie...
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